Ireland Women’s head coach Philip Doyle has made two changes to the side that defeated Scotland at Ashbourne last Friday night for the forthcoming clash against Wales.
The fit-again Niamh Briggs is named at full-back and Larissa Muldoon comes in at scrum half. The two players making way, Jackie Shiels and Amy Davis, are named among the replacements.
Hat-trick hero Sophie Spence will again line out alongside Marie Louise Reilly in the second row and Ireland will be hoping that Lynne Cantwell and Alison Miller, who both scored a brace of tries against the Scotland, can have a similar impact against the Welsh.
Fiona Coghlan will captain the side from loosehead prop, while Ashleigh Baxter comes onto the bench in place of Orla Fitzsimons.
Ireland Women’s head coach Philip Doyle commented: “The performance we put in against Scotland was coming for some time but we are under no illusions as to the challenge the Welsh girls will present.
“There was only two points between the teams last year so this week we will require a further step up in performance from the group.”
Tickets for the Ireland v Wales Women’s game at Ashbourne RFC will be available for purchase at the gate on Friday.
Tickets prices are as follows: Adult €;10; Student/child €;5; Cars/buses of more than four people, €;5 per person.
Old Belvedere RFC are running supporters’ buses to Ashbourne from Dublin city. The buses will leave Old Belvedere RFC on Anglesea Road at 6pm sharp and pick up at Jury’s Hotel, Custom House Quay at 6.15pm. The buses will return at about 11pm.
For those wishing to travel to the match on the Old Belvedere buses, a ticket (which include entry into the game and the return trip on the bus) costs €;20.
If you would like to reserve seats on the buses, please contact Old Belvedere’s Emer McElhinney (0868892166) or Ann Marie Ruttledge (0871253853).
Meanwhile, the Ireland Women’s team will play their first ever fixture at the Aviva Stadium when they meet Italy on Saturday, March 8.
This game will kick off approximately 40 minutes after Ireland’s RBS 6 Nations clash against the Azzurri has concluded. Tickets for this match are available through Ticketmaster.ie.
IRELAND WOMEN’S Team & Replacements (v Wales Women, 2014 Women’s RBS 6 Nations Championship, Ashbourne RFC, Friday, February 7, kick-off 7.30pm):
15. Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemians/Munster) 37
14. Hannah Casey (Saracens/Exile) 1
13. Lynne Cantwell (Richmond /Exile) 79
12. Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere/Leinster) 9
11. Alison Miller (Portlaoise/UCC/Connacht) 15
10. Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster) 19
9. Larissa Muldoon (Bristol/Exile) 16
1. Fiona Coghlan (UL Bohemians/Leinster) 76 (capt)
2. Stacey-Lea Kennedy (Cooke/Ulster) 9
3. Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere/Leinster) 13
4. Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere/Leinster) 11
5. Marie Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster) 26
6. Siobhan Fleming (Tralee/Munster) 11
7. Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht) 27
8. Heather O’Brien (Highfield/Munster) 10
16. Gill Bourke (UL Bohemians/Munster) 37
17. Fiona Hayes (UL Bohemians/Munster) 3
18. Kerrie-Ann Craddock (Saracens/Exile) 1
19. Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary’s/Leinster) 4
20. Amy Davis (Blackrock/Ulster) 33
21. Ashleigh Baxter (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster) 9
22. Grace Davitt (Cooke/Ulster) 48
23. Jackie Shiels (Richmond/Exile) 9
IRELAND WOMEN’S RBS 6 NATIONS FIXTURES:
IRELAND WOMEN 59 Scotland Women 0
Friday, January 31
IRELAND WOMEN v Wales Women
Ashbourne RFC, 7.30pm
Friday, February 7
England Women v IRELAND WOMEN
Saturday, February 22
IRELAND WOMEN v Italy Women
Aviva Stadium, 5pm
Saturday, March 8
France Women v IRELAND WOMEN
Stade du Hameau, Pau, 6.45pm local time/5.45pm Irish time
Friday, March 14